3 Cards. 100,000 Miles + $890 Statement Credits!

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Emily & I have been thinking of getting our first house, so we haven’t applied for many credit cards in the past year.  But I couldn’t wait any longer!

3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

3 Cards Got Me 100,000 American Airlines Miles & $890 in Statement Credits!

So I applied for 3 credit cards at the end of January and got approved for all of them!

Read This Before Applying!

In general, credit card applications will reduce your credit score by 3 to 8 points per application, in the short term.  But your score should go back to what it used to be or even increase because of the lower debt utilization ratio when you get more credit.

I do not recommend applying for credit cards if you plan on taking out a major loan within the next 1 to 2 years.

We pay our credit cards off every month.  Carrying a balance on your card and paying interest usually negates any savings you get with miles and points.

If you are new to this, please read the 5 Dangers of Credit Cards before applying for a card.

3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

Don’t Apply for Credit Cards if You Can’t Pay the Balance in Full!

Note that you should NOT apply for multiple cards just because I or other bloggers do.  As always, do what is comfortable for you!  Make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements comfortably.  There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.

If I were applying for a big loan, I wouldn’t apply for any credit cards until I had my loan.  Much better, in my opinion, to do everything possible to get a low interest rate on the big loan first, and then apply for credit cards.  And to be as conservative as possible, I wouldn’t apply for many cards in the 2 years before a mortgage or refinance.

Pick Your Travel Goals

Emily and I set travel goals and we then collect miles and points to achieve those goals.  Our goals are quite simple.  We want to have enough miles and points to travel within the US in coach to visit friends, to go to Michigan or Ohio to visit family and to have weekend getaways.

We also want to travel internationally 2 to 3 times a year – ideally in business or first class, but we’ll choose a flight in coach if it means less connections and more time on the ground (like we did when we visited Brazil during Carnival).

We also need hotel points since we have to stay somewhere. We don’t really care which airline we fly or hotel we stay in as long as we can save money while traveling.

Having points spread among different airlines, hotels and cash back cards gives us many more options when it is time to book our trips!

Daraius’ January 2014 Cards

Credit Card
Sign-On Bonus
Minimum Spending Required
Annual Fee
Total100,000 miles & $890 in Statement Credits$14,000 in 3 Months$450 NOT Waived for 1st Year
Barclays Arrival40,000 Miles or ~$440 Towards Travel$3,000 in 3 Months$89 Annual Fee Waived for 1st Year
American Express SimplyCash (Business Card)$250 Statement Credit$3,000 in 3 MonthsNo Annual Fee
Citi American Airlines Executive100,000 Miles, $200 Statement Credit & American Airlines Lounge Access$10,000 in 3 Months$450 NOT Waived for 1st Year

Many reward cards require minimum spending for the sign-up bonus.  I always make certain I can meet the spending requirement before applying.  Read my post on 40+ ways to complete minimum spending requirements for tips on completing the spending.

Credit Card Resources

Here are a few resources which list the best miles and points deals and tips on meeting the minimum spending.

3 Cards from 3 Different Banks

In general, we apply for credit cards from different banks, every 3 to 4 months, so that we don’t have credit inquiries (which usually happens every time you apply for credit) hitting only 1 credit bureau.

I want to limit the number of inquiries on each of the credit bureaus because banks don’t like seeing too many inquiries (especially in the last 6 to 12 months) on your credit report.  If you apply for 1 or 2 cards at a time, I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

EquifaxExperian, and TransUnion are the 3 main credit bureaus in the US.  Banks will usually request a copy of your credit report from at least 1 (sometimes more) of these credit bureaus.  The exact credit bureau used depends on where you live and which bank you’ve applied for credit from.

1.  Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

I applied for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 1st because Barclays is very sensitive to the number of credit inquiries on your credit report.  They also like to see you regularly using their cards (if you already have a Barclays card such as the Barclays US Air card etc.)

I was eager to get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® because you get 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months.

These 40,000 miles are worth ~$440 if your redeem them for travel.  You can use these miles for ANY flight or hotel expense, so you don’t have to hunt for low-level flights when you use your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® miles.

I Like the Barclays Arrival Plus Card Because You can Use the ~$440 Sign-Up Bonus Towards ANY Flight Without Worrying About Finding Award Flights!

A lot of folks prefer cash back to earning miles and points.  And the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is the best cash back card if you redeem for travel because you get ~2.2% cash back for travel redemptions!  The card also has no foreign transaction fees, so you’re not paying extra when you use the card outside the US.

I was thrilled when I got instantly approved for the card with a very generous $15,000 credit limit!

I Love Being Instantly Approved for a Card!

2.   American Express SimplyCash

Link:   American Express SimplyCash Card

Link:   My Review of the SimplyCash Card

Next, I applied for the American Express SimplyCash credit card.  This is a business card.  I applied using the Million Mile Secrets Tax ID.

Many folks often aren’t certain if they are eligible for a business card.  You may qualify for a business card if you own an existing business or are starting a business.

This is a great card with NO annual fee and which offers up to 5% cash back!  And up to April 28, 2014, there is a limited time offer where you can get a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 within 3 months.

I can use this statement credit towards any type of travel or non-travel expense!  And a $250 statement credit is quite good on a card which has no annual fee.

You earn 5% cash back on office supplies and wireless service, but I’d rather use my Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus for those categories.  

That’s because the Ink Bold and the Ink Plus earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points at Office Supply stores and for wireless service.  But I also have the flexibility of transferring the Ultimate Rewards points to hotels such as Hyatt or to airlines such as United or Southwest.  Or I can redeem the 5X Ultimate Rewards points for 5% cash back if I want.

However, you can also get 3% cash back on your choice of 1 out of 7 categories (includes gas, airfare, hotels, restaurants etc.).

 3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

You Have to Pick Which Category to Earn 3% Cash Back In

I plan on keeping the SimplyCash card for a long time to build a relationship with American Express because it has no annual fee.  And to get 3% back on either US restaurants, shipping or advertising (I have to pick 1 category).

However, I won’t use this card outside the US because of the 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

3.   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

Link:   Citi American Airlines Executive Card

Link:   My Review of the American Airlines Executive Card

You earn 100,000 American Airlines miles and a $200 statement credit after spending $10,000 within 3 months.

The card has a $450 annual fee, but you get a $200 statement credit when you spend more than $200 on the card.  So you’re effectively paying $250 for 100,000 American Airlines miles and access to the American Airlines lounges at airports.

This is one of the best deals which I’ve seen in the last year.

I love American Airline miles because they are relatively easy to use – either for domestic US travel or for First Class international travel.  Here’s my series on how to redeem your American Airlines miles.

 3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

We Used American Airlines Miles to Fly Family to India

You also get 1 free checked bag and priority check-in and boarding with the card.  You can apply for the Citi Executive card even if you already have another Citi American Airlines card.  Just make sure that you wait ~8 days between personal Citi applications and don’t apply for more than 2 cards within ~65 days.

I had to call 800-695-5171 to get approved for the card.  The representatve just transferred credit from an existing Citi card and I was approved!

 3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

I Called Citi at 800-695-5171 & Was Approved for the Card!

Credit Score Impact

Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are not official FICO credit scores which lenders usually use, but substitute scores or “FAKO” (as in fake) scores.

But these are good substitutes for us because we don’t want to spend money to get our official credit score.

1.   Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame gives me a substitute of my Experian score.  But for whatever reason, my Credit Sesame score wasn’t updated.  I got a message saying that it would be updated in a few days.

2.   Credit Karma

Credit Karma gives me a substitute of my TransUnion credit score score.

 3 Cards 100,000 Miles 890 Statement Credits

My Credit Score Increased Slightly With my New Applications

My score appears to have increased slightly with my 3 new cards!

Bottom Line

Many of the millions of miles which Emily and I use for Big Travel with Small Money have come from credit card sign-up bonuses.

We use our miles and points for a mix of domestic travel, international travel, and to spend time with friends and family.  The minimum spending may seem high, but there are many ways to meet the minimum spending requirement creatively!

This is a great way to earn lots of miles and points, but you HAVE to be careful.

Don’t apply for credit cards if you can’t pay off the entire balance monthly.  You’ll likely be paying more in interest than the value of the miles and points.  And don’t apply for credit cards if you will be applying for a big loan in the next 1 to 2 years.

Oh, and again read The 5 Dangers of Credit Cards before applying for a credit card!

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These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

73 Responses to 3 Cards. 100,000 Miles + $890 Statement Credits!

  1. After reading this, the only one that I’m iffy with is the Citi card… you don’t find it hard spending 10,000 in three months?

  2. Hello, great post. It made me think of a question. I have two citi cards (TY Premiere and Hilton citi reserve). I’ll be canceling the TY premiere prior to its upcoming annual fee date. Can I ask and expect citi to transfer additional credit to the reserve card to help my credit score by increasing my available credit?

  3. So you broke your own rule by applying for a few cards while considering a house purchase in the near future? That’s what it sounds like.

  4. I’m considering dropping my AmEx business platinum having lost lounge access but I have a large number of Membership Rewards points. Will the business Simply Cash card let me keep these points intact?

  5. Last time I received an American Airline signup bonus, I was able to sell 67,500 AAdvantage miles to rewards2cash for $742.50

    http://rewards2cash.com/AAdvantage2?tracking=4f8fb6a3e7219

    The company has positive reviews on slickdeals, facebook, yelp and fatwallet.

  6. Excellent Article thanks!
    One question concerning the $200 statement credit buying AA gift cards…to offset the $450 fee…
    What to do with the $200 in AA gift cards if I will not need to use them to purchase seats or amenities?
    Sell them on a site? Can they be used on the AA shopping portal?

  7. Good luck with house hunting! Now it makes sense why we haven’t seen any apporamas from you in 2013…

  8. @misty- $200 statement credit is for any purchase.. Not necessarily AA….

  9. I’m planning to apply for the AA Citi Executive and Barclays Arrival cards, but would like to do a third. I don’t have a business, have all the standard cards (CSP, Starwood Amex, US Airways, Club Carlson, IHG, etc.). Also have SWA Companion Pass. Would like to get miles for a trip to Alaska (where SWA doesn’t help much because they don’t get you into Alaska). Any thoughts on the Alaska card versus Frontier?

  10. @misty- Sam is correct^ I asked about this when I called inf or the card. The $200 is applied after you make any purchase (basically as a way of lowering the annual fee to $250 for the first year).

  11. @Stephanie Carino — Darius has written a lot on manufactured spend and his articles are really helpful. In short, though, using Vanilla Reloads it’s possible to meet the spending requirement after 2 months. If you don’t have access to Vanilla Reload cards, you can send money through Amazon Payments, prepay other bills accepting credit cards (gym membership, day care, etc.), buy gift cards you’ll use (if you spend $500/month at the grocery store, if you can afford to buy several months worth of cards you can knock out several thousand dollars, etc). So while $10,000 is a lot of money and you shouldn’t apply if you can’t meet that, using manufactured spend to pay bills you can’t put directly on a card and prepaying things should work for a lot of people. But definitely check out his articles if you haven’t already.

  12. @Stephanie Carino – Not currently because I can pay bills, loans, and rent with a credit card.

    @alan – Citi usually doesn’t transfer credit unless they offer to transfer credit for a new card.

    @Bella – We’re not sure about the house.

    @Bruce – I don’t believe it will, but I have a post coming up on that topic soon!

    @misty – I believe you can buy anything for $200 and get the statement credit.

    @ Sam – Thanks!

    @Amy – I’d consider the Alaska Air card because they partner with American Airlines and Delta as well.

  13. Can you please go into more detail on the Citi application with regard to the transferring of credit. Was this done because they wouldn’t offer you the card otherwise or was there some other benefit? I know that plenty of people churn Citi cards and I’m wondering if this is a way to dump cards before the annual fee hits with the added perk of getting a new sign up bonus (and/or smaller hit to credit score).

    Thanks!

  14. Great Post Darius. I have question on the Barclays Arrival card. You said it earns 40,000 miles or $440. Does it earn actual airline miles that can be applied or transferred 1 to 1 to American Airlines? Or are the 40,000 miles some kind of ‘Barclays Miles’ that are just good for a $440 discount on any airline ticket via Barclays. I’m trying to accumulate AA miles right now, to be used on tickets to Hawaii or the Caribbean where 30-35k in miles can get me a ticket that might otherwise cost $600-$800. So I’d primarily only be interested in this card if it can get me 40,000 AA miles since I consider that to be worth well more than $440. I still may consider it if it’s not AA miles since it’s a low spend and 1 year annual fee waived, but I’d like to understand how these 40,000 miles can be used and I couldn’t find any specifics on the Barclays T&C’s.

  15. @Dan There is a finite amount of credit Citi will give you. If you just cancel a cc, Citi doesn’t release the credit limit on that card for 3 to 6 months. So it’s as if you still have that cc, with it’s credit line, but just can’t access it. Which might keep ;you from being approved for another card.

    I recently asked Citi to move some of the CL from one existing card to another existing card, and they said they think you will be able to do that sometime in the future, but not yet.

    But you CAN move your credit line from an existing card to a new card you are applying for during the approval phone call.. So when you apply for a new cc from Citi, if you are at the limit of the CL they will approve you for, you can move some or all of the CL from an existing card so that Citi will approve you for the new card.

    And if you are planning to cancel a cc soon to avoid the annual fee, you can move all of the CL from the old card and cancel it during the phone call to get approved, so the CL doesn’t get sidelined for 3 to 6 months. Make sure you do this before the annual fee appears on your cc bill, because Citi won’t let you cancel a card that you owe money on, including even the annual fee.

  16. @Dylan–Barclays does not earn actual airline miles. It gives you a statement credit when you use the card for travel purchases. The 40,000 “miles” you get at signup can be redeemed for $400 towards the purchase of a flight, hotel, car rental, etc. This is one of my favorite cards. My wife and I each got one and recently used it for 2 free flights to Iceland. We each had over 50,000 “miles” in our account. The flights cost $547 each. We redeemed 52,500 miles each, which was good for $525 each towards our tickets(so we each paid $25 out of pocket for the flights). We then got 5250 miles back since you get 10% of your miles back upon redemption. I’ve only had this card for 6 months and already I’ve used it to cover the taxes on 2 flights to the Cayman Islands($172), priority seating on a couple of Southwest flights after flight cancellations left my wife and I with bad seating arrangements($80) and now tickets to Iceland.

  17. I heard there is a limit to the # of total cards (personal + business) that amex, chase and citi give out.
    For example, I heard amex’s limit is 4, so if I currently have 3 amex cards I’d have to choose wisely which is the 4th card I should sign up for, in case the 5th comes along and I have too many amex cards. Do you have any experience with this or know if this is true?

  18. Another nice feature of the Barclay Arrival card is that it gives access to your FICO score as part of your online account features! In my case, my actual FICO score is 20-30 points higher than what Credit Karma shows.

  19. @Dylan

    You can get 50K actual AA miles from the Citi AA card, but I assume you already have that. If you can figure out how to “spend” $10k in 3 months, there is a link above for the Citi AA Executive card, that is a different card from the regular Citi AA card, so you can have both of them. That’s 100,000 actual AA miles. It does cost $250 in first year fees after the statement credit. But if you also get the Barclays card, the Barclays statement credit, say for hotels in Hawaii, gives you $400 back, so you come out $150 ahead overall between the two cards.

  20. @MilesInaTor -very interesting, BUT… who pays for the transfer fees/taxes assessed by the various rewards programs??

  21. Darius,

    When you do a credit Ap-o-rama and have identified the cards you want to cancel and the new ones you want to get, do you typically apply for say 3-4 new cards first and THEN cancel the old 3-4? Or do you cancel first, let those clear out and then apply for the new ones? Do you always do one way specifically? Do you think it matters?

  22. Good or bad idea 10,000 chase ultimate rewards for free $200 car rental

  23. @JDB Amex’s limit is 4 CREDIT cards as a combined total of personal and business (like you said). However, their CHARGE cards do not count towards that number, so you could have many more. I have had to trade cards before and I normally swap SPG cards when I have to give one up. I always keep one and by swapping, it gives me a chance to open another one 365 days later. Just my little amex system…

  24. Good luck! I was a little sad I only got a $5k limit on my Barclay’s arrival card despite having $40k on my FIA Amex, but those 12 hard inquiries on my CR might be dragging me down. Better lay low for a while

    Fun think about the Arrival card is that you’ll get a free FICO score every month. Also check out the free TripIt Pro membership- it works with gmail to automatically keep track of your flights and miles!

  25. To Dan (above):

    “Can you please go into more detail on the Citi application with regard to the transferring of credit.”

    During my last churn some time back (all Citi) I ran into a max limit Citi imposes for total credit for one individual. The last of two new cards would have exceeded that high limit for the sum of the previous cards, so the op was able to reduce the limit on one of the others and apply it to the new (since both were Citi cards). Hope that helps, at least with the first part of your question.

    -Dan (also)

  26. Darius,

    For the Citi Exec card, if you reach the spend amount and then cancel the card will Citi prorate a refund of the annual fee?

  27. It is misleading to not account for the non-waived $450 annual fee in your title. “3 Cards. 100,000 Miles + $440 Statement Credits!” would be a more honest representation. What happened to your “Mother-in-law rule”?

    What’s next? “1 weird trick to fly for free. Airlines hate him!”?

    Or perhaps I could interest you in my super special $1,000 statement credit offer with a $1,495 annual fee?

  28. @nate, I was also wondering about that; I want to test the ease of the lounge membership in June first. According to Citi, the full AF is refunded within 37 days after AF is billed and after 37 days the AF will be prorated. I talked to Citi based on my AA Gold master since I am still waiting for my AA Exec card (approved this afternoon). I hope this is an accurate info for all Citi cards. Let’s see what Darius says…

  29. Does the approval of the AA Exec card reset the 18-mons time frame for the next AA card?

  30. why is the arrival card ANY better than the cap1 spark (2% cash back on ALL purchases)???

  31. @Mr. Cool – What’s the signup bonus on that cap1 spark card??? Is it more or less than ~$440?

  32. Mrcool — Arrival is better than Cap 1. Both give 2x on all purchases. Both let you redeem at 1 cent per point toward travel. But Arrival gives a 10 percent rebate on redemptions, so it’s really 2.2 cents per $1 spend. Plus, you get access to rewards boost mall, and a free tripit subscription. Plus, the Arrival has a better sign up bonus (usually) and only pulls from one credit agency, while cap 1 pulls all three. Only way cap one is better is that the annual fee is $30 less.

  33. Can you churn Barclay’s Arrival? If so, how?

  34. Hi,Darius,
    Between Chase British Airways 10K miles and Citi 10K miles, which one would you recommend if I will only apply for one of the card? Thanks!

  35. Hi Daraius, silly question, do you have pictures where you are not smiling ear-to-ear? ;-)
    -Dan

  36. For those of you who just got approved for the Citi Executive card and are currently holding other Citi cards, did you notice that your Members Since date on the Executive card is reflecting 2014? I was hoping they would show Member Since 2012, when I started my Citi Relationship. Could this be a result of this card being an entirely different product?

  37. Just want to bust a myth. In the summer of 2012 I applied for a new home loan after opening approx 10 cards in the preceeding 8 months plus bought a new car. Made zero difference on my ability to borrow for my new home. I didn’t even borrow the max for my new home. The key is how you use that available credit.

  38. When I am about to pay my Citi Executive AAdvantage Mastercard via Bluebird bill pay and I choose “add a payee” and typed “citi” then click “search”, it shows me “CITI CARDS” and “CITIBANK CREDIT CARD”. This is confusing, which one is the correct payee that I should choose to pay for my Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard? Thanks in advance.

  39. I’ve used ‘CITI CARDS’ for all of my Citi Credit Card products and the payment always gets credited. CITIBANK was their previous name, They have shortened it to Citi.

  40. I see couple of folks discuss about the fee prorated … does the AA executive prorate the annual fee if the account is closed within 3 months?

  41. Hi,
    I love your site. I just started with the milage cards this year. So far I have the southwest and citi executive card. Thanks for the information.

  42. @Jody Barclay’s has not historically been very churn friendly. Few banks are nowadays, but Barclay’s is known for being particularly tight with that sort of stuff.

  43. Our first statement just closed and we received the $200 statement credit. We didn’t make any AA purchases.

  44. Can someone clarify the value of applying for cards all at once? I see this in multiple places but I do not follow. If in this case the idea is to spread inquiries to 3 different banks then that is still 3 credit inquiries and you may as well have opened the cards one at a time, no? If you open 3 cards from one bank at the same time do they still do 3 inquiries or can they just do one?

    Also, will AA let you use their lounge if you are flying on a different airline?

    thanks,
    Josh

  45. Thank you so much for your site. I decided to start taking advantage of targeted offers I always get in the mail, and others online. Since September I have been able to amass over 550,000 points, and have been approved for 13 credit cards! I stopped adding the amount of credit available. I kept waiting for someone to say no but they just never did. Amazing deals for my month long trip to Europe in June. Thanks again.

  46. It has been just about 2 years since my last Citi AA app. I still have the card. Has it been long enough that I can now apply for this one?

  47. @Joshua There is no correct answer to your question. A few folks have reported being approved for another card 12 months after their previous application date. Others have been denied up to 22 months. The most common report is being approved 18 months after the previous app. It’s totally a YMMV situation. But around two years, meaning more than 22 months, means you are ALMOST certain to be approved {assuming your credit and history with Citi are top notch}.

    I might as well mention that the Citi AA Executive cc is considered a different card from the regular AA personal card. So you can get the Exec card even if you got the reg cc recently. However, there is some speculation that applying for the Exec cc resets the 12 to 22 month clock for the regular cc. So if you don’t have either of them, or like Joshua are at the correct time frame to apply for another personal cc, do that first. Then wait a few weeks before you apply for the Exec card. That way you should be able to get them both.

  48. I got the barkleyarival card but the negative thing is it can only be redeemed for travel purchases so if you trully do not spent $1000 with airlines etc you will not get the $400 “cash back” but only lousy $200. Not bad but sad :(

  49. I am new to the Admirals Club thing.
    In addition to Josh’s question about the Admiral’s Club membership allowing you to get into the lounge if you happen to be flying a different airline that day, can you get access to other OneWorld partner lounges or just American and US Airways?

  50. Darius, there is a better offer for AMEX SimplyCash Business Card. I actually just got the offer in mail today. The offer is $300 statement credit for $1000 spending within first 3 months. This beats the $250 SC for $3k spending for sure.

  51. MT – do you have a link to the AMEX SimplyCash Business Card with $300 statement credit/$1,000 spending?

  52. I want to sign up for the AA card, but a $10k spend within 3 months is my limit. Can you recommend other cards (I like to apply for 3 at a time) to apply for at the same time that will not require any more than an additional $1k in spend?

  53. @Bonnie I don’t. I received it in physical mail.

  54. @Dan – What Robert Hanson said! I believe they offered to transfer credit just to approve me for the new card. You can close a Citi card if the annual fee isn’t worth it to you.

    @Dylan – They are Barclays miles which can’t be transferred to other airlines. But you can use them towards buying tickets or other travel expenses. Check out the Citi Executive card for 100K AA miles if you’re looking for American Airlines miles.

    @JDB – The 4 card limit with AMEX refers to credit card and not charge cards. So you could have more than 4 credit cards with AMEX as long as the others are charge cards.

    @ tobin – That’s a great perk of the card!

    @Steve | Live Smart Not Hard – I usually close cards independently of applying for them.

    @ warner – That’s 2 cents per point which isn’t bad if you can save cash.

    @ Chucks – I’m looking forward to checking out the Tripit Pro!

    @ nate @ny guy – I believe they will prorate the fee only within ~30 days, so you likely may not get your miles in time.

    @ Adam – The table in the post very clearly mentions that the $450 fee wasn’t waived. As does my commentary in the post. I try to keep the title as short as possible, though you can figure out the annual fee if you read the post. You also get a $200 statement credit, so the annual fee is ~$250.

    @ Emily – No, they are different cards and independent.

    @Mr. Cool – What Larry says.

    @ Lydia – The Citi 100K offer because of the statement credit, lounge access and because you don’t pay high fuel surcharges with American Airlines miles (compared to British Airways points).

    @Danny_L – Hmmm…let’s see what I can do!

    @ David – Make a small test payment (say $1) on either one and if it posts, you could make a larger payment.

    @Corridor! – Thanks for the info!

    @Josh – With the AA lounge membership you can access the AA lounge even if you’re flying another airline. If you’re applying for only 3 cards and they are from different bureaus, there isn’t a real need to apply on the same day. I just do it because it is easier to track for me.

    @ frances – Have a wonderful trip in Europe!

    @ Joshua – I believe that should be fine.

    @Michal – You could buy airline gift cards etc. and sell them to get more than $200.

    @Scott – I believe it is just American Airlines and US Air lounges.

    @MT – That’s a great offer! Too bad there isn’t a public link to it.

    @ Bonnie – The Barclays Arrival card or the US Air card have low spending requirements. As does the Chase Freedom.

  55. I know we’re discussing the Citi card here for the most part, and Citi’s rather tight guidelines for new cards. Just FYI, Chase doesn’t seem to be nearly as tight. I just applied for a Southwest business card (after getting a regular Southwest card only 2 months before) to get closer to the 110,000 points necessary for the free companion deal. Before applying, I closed another Chase card AFTER the yearly fee had been posted on my bill. I was approved for the bus. card, but I was told that if I had told them when I closed that card that I was applying for the new one, they would have transferred the credit. So the rules seem to vary.l

    What can I do to get some miles credit with a business that just doesn’t accept anything but a check? Is that an instance where I buy a cash card? But how do I convert it back to cash?

  56. @Jonnie – You could use Bluebird to write a check.

  57. OK, thanks. So then, from one of your earlier blogs, do I understand correctly that I use the SW card to buy a Chase gift card at Walmart that I can then load into the Bluebird account?

  58. I notice that online I can get the Basic Blue Walmart Gift card with no charge and free shipping — would two $1,000 cards work? They say there’s a pin on the back. I don’t know if the card is free in the store. Could I load this card to Bluebird?

  59. @Jonnie – You can’t load Wal-Mart gift cards to Bluebird. Try buying Vanilla Reloads at CVS. Or a Visa gift card from CVS or a grocery store and then go to Wal-Mart to load it to your Bluebird.

  60. Will I get the total bonus 150K AA miles if I apply both regular Citi AA Advantage MasterCard (50K bonus) & this Citi Executive Elite MasterCard(100K)? after spending the minimum purchases? If not, Please let me know the possible options to get the 150K bonus miles.

    Thanks in Advance!

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  62. @malli – That should work, but leave at least 8 days between the 2 card applications.

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  64. Lucy from LoungeBuddy

    Wow! This guide makes it easy to earn miles! I’ll definitely have to try it out soon.

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  66. I heard that you can apply for Citi Executive back to back to get 200K :)
    What do you think? I’ve completed my first and just waiting for the miles to post.
    If I decide to go at it again, should I be using the same AAdvantage number?

    Thanks!!

  67. @Bill – I haven’t tried that, but keep us posted!

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  73. Robert Zanzerkia

    Hi Daraius,
    First time reader/writer, great site.
    I could use some advise.

    I happen to already have Barclay Arrival card (I like it’s flexibility and travel credit) with 46K miles.
    I had opened 2 AAdvantage Citi cards (myself 35K, wife 55K).

    I have to pay my daughter’s school $3K/month and they let me use credit cards…
    So meeting any spending limit is not an issue.
    I have to pay her tuition anyways from checking account so why no do it via. mileage card?
    I am wondering if I upp my AAdvantage card will they give me 100K miles (using your link to The Points Guy)? $450/year – $200 statement credit?

    Also if I purchase tickets BEFORE the card renewal dates (both my Barclay ad AAdvantage waived the fees for first year) there is no restriction on having card active when I travel right? (other than not having 1st free bag, priority boarding on AA etc.).

    Any advise on best way to accumulate miles?

    Thank you,
    Robert

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